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Utah Utes football: Jon Hays still starting QB despite team's poorest performance of season

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  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 27, 2011 4:52 p.m.

    @Mormon Ute
    "In any case, yes, we have a bad QB situation. Our coaches messed up and the team is paying for it now. Hopefully they'll learn from this mistake.

    How many QB's did you say BYU has standing on the sideline? It doesn't appear to me you have 4 or 5. Heaps looked as bad against ISU as he did against us. If you have more than Riley Nelson, why haven't they seen some action?"

    Your coaches didn't mess up, it was Whitt that messed up and it was a monumental error.

    As for BYU's depth chart, we have a full one. James Lark is the 3rd string and Jason Munns the 4th string and both players were highly recruited 4 star players in high school. Neither has been pressed into action because Riley has been playing so well. Waiting to go on a mission is Alex Kuresa.

    Also coming in is Taysom Hill who was supposed to be Andrew Lucks backup (another 4 star recruit) at STanford, and local prep stars McCoy Hill and Ammon Olsen and next year Tanner Mangum a top 10 4 star H.S. QB.

    That is depth, both quantity and quality.

  • CougFaninTX Frisco, TX
    Oct. 26, 2011 10:57 a.m.

    @mormonute
    "How many QB's did you say BYU has standing on the sideline? It doesn't appear to me you have 4 or 5. Heaps looked as bad against ISU as he did against us. If you have more than Riley Nelson, why haven't they seen some action?"

    Thanks for asking. Actually we do have 5 QB's who are scholorship - Nelson, Heaps, Lark, Munns, and Kuresa. In January we pick up Hill and lose Kuresa to a mission, keeping 5 for next season. All were highly recruited, and I would take any of the five over Hays.

    I do agree with your comment that Heaps looked bad against ISU. Hopefully, he'll redshirt in 2012 and he'll develop into his potential by 2013. If not, Hill or Munns may be the starter in 2013. I'm glad we have options for the most important position on the team.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 11:13 p.m.

    davidutefan,

    You make a good point about picking up the blitz. One thing the offense did really well against BYU was use a FB as a blocker to pick up the blitz and lead for John White IV. I think Vakapuna has been hurt and I'm not sure if we have anyone else that has the size to do that, but it sure would help.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 11:09 p.m.

    PAC man,

    Only in your eyes would it be seen as a fluke. BYU hasn't beaten a team with a winning record yet. I hardly call that proving anything.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 11:02 p.m.

    BigCougar,

    Not when the teams you're playing are the bottom of the FCS barrel.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 11:01 p.m.

    cougar4ever2,

    Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. BTW, those guys were top QB's in whose book? Not a single one of the guys you mentioned that were QB's in high school were more than 2 stars on any national scale. Some of them were told right up front they wouldn't play QB at Utah and were recruited for other positions. Blechen is an example of that. He never played one single down at QB, even in practice. Lot's of guys that play QB in high school are recruited for their defensive skills rather than their skills at QB, because they are better on that side of the ball. Robles is the only one of the three you mentioned who was recruited as a QB.

    In any case, yes, we have a bad QB situation. Our coaches messed up and the team is paying for it now. Hopefully they'll learn from this mistake.

    How many QB's did you say BYU has standing on the sideline? It doesn't appear to me you have 4 or 5. Heaps looked as bad against ISU as he did against us. If you have more than Riley Nelson, why haven't they seen some action?

  • davidutefan Evanston, WY
    Oct. 25, 2011 10:33 p.m.

    PAC man: with BYU's schedule after the first few games, most teams would look better. A 3 or 4 point win can look like a fluke. A 44 point win is pretty much a statement. We'll see how improved they are against TCU and they're having one of their worst seasons in years.

  • MiP Iowa City, IA
    Oct. 25, 2011 10:00 p.m.

    Brian Blechen has excelled on D, so I can't blame the coaches there.

    If healthy, Christopher is their top reciever.

    Griff, though probably should have remained at QB (hindsight), in lieu of Wynn's injuries. I'm thinking the coaches just wanted to get him some PT. Plus it appeared Hays beat him out of the spot.

    Still the Utes could win some games, even with Hays, so long as they can old onto the vall and establish a run. Sorenson wrote how the Utes are in the most dire situation at QB, yet Hays play was still better than Sunseri/Anderson play at Pitt. Season's not over. A win Saturday would really unload the monkey.

    Go Utes!

  • Stackhouse paradise, nv
    Oct. 25, 2011 8:47 p.m.

    Has anyone considered using Blechen in the wildcat similar to what they did with Weddle a couple of years ago.

  • nairbnosral American Fork, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    MormonUte:

    "Doesn't it make BYU look worse to have a team that soundly beat them be doing so poorly?"

    Maybe, but so what? How's it going to make Utah look if (when?) they lose to Oregon State this Saturday? Neither team is making a good showing this year.

    I just think it's cool when fans from both teams stick with them and support them no matter how well or how horribly they are playing. Neither team wants or needs fair weather fans.

  • davidutefan Evanston, WY
    Oct. 25, 2011 7:46 p.m.

    If the o-line doesn't figure out to protect the QB, the punter might end up starting. He did throw one of the best passes last saturday. There's a lot of blame being thrown Hays' way but, Andrew Luck couldn't play behind this line. Also, does anyone on the offense at all know how to pick up a blitz. That said, I'll still be there cheering Saturday. Go Utes!

  • PAC man Anaheim, CA
    Oct. 25, 2011 5:45 p.m.

    Mormon Ute

    "Doesn't it make BYU look worse to have a team that soundly beat them be doing so poorly?"

    One game does not a season make.

    BYU's has been improving steadily since that turnover fest.

    Utah, on the other had, has been in free fall. Even the Pittsburgh game, although a win, was offensively ugly.

    Utah is going to have to play a lot better down the stretch to validate their early season BYU win, otherwise it will be viewed as nothing more than a fluke.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 5:21 p.m.

    @Mormon Ute
    "Doesn't it make BYU look worse to have a team that soundly beat them be doing so poorly?"

    Actually, more and more it makes the game look like an anamoly.

  • cougar4ever2 SLC, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 5:20 p.m.

    The other side of the coin is that you have five quarterbacks at BYU who aren't athletic enough to play any other position other than QB, so all but one or two of them stand on the sideline for four years holding a clipboard and never see the field. Not sure which one is better or worse in terms of recruiting purposes but certainly BYU won't be finding themselves in the same predicament that Utah is in because they are at least developing the QB's they have in the system as they can't do anything else with them. So, which is better? Seems like Utah has recruited themselves into a Gigantic hole, signing QB's on as "athletes" but forgetting to sign up actual QB's.

  • cougar4ever2 SLC, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    @Mormon Ute So, then I guess what you are saying is that right now, out of all the QB's Utah has recruited in the past, lets say four years, you only have Wynn to show for it? Christopher, Blechen, and Robles were all top QB's coming out of high school but apparently weren't "legitimate" enough for Utah to keep playing that position. So, now the only "legitimate" QB they recruited in the past, let's say four years, is on the sideline in a sling. Thanks for making my point!

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    nairbnorsal,

    Doesn't it make BYU look worse to have a team that soundly beat them be doing so poorly?

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 4:48 p.m.

    cougar4ever2,

    What evidence do you have that the best QB's at Utah have been converted to other positions? The fact that they do well at other positions has no bearing on how well they might have done at QB. In fact, Coach Witt said today that Robles was moved to LB for a reason and it was that his skills at QB were lacking. Unless you put those players in Jon Hay's shoes, you have no basis for your argument. My answer to your question is no. Legitimate QB's who have the skills to do the job will always keep their spot.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    BigCougar,

    I didn't say I like the situation the Utes currently have at QB. You totally misread my comment. My comment was directed squarely at Duckhunter and his I told you so comment. I prefer to take the judgement of real coaches of arm chair coaches. That doesn't mean the Ute's coaches didn't make a mistake in QB recruiting. I was simply pointing out that so did the BYU coaches and most of the fans, including Duckhunter.

  • Prep Fanatic Los Angeles, CA
    Oct. 25, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    Utah needs to put in Griff and let him play. He was a stud of a quaterback when he played at Spanish Fork, but he really has been given no chance to play while at Utah. I think he has more to offer that Hays right now, especially with Norm Chow in the press box.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 4:14 p.m.

    @Kosta Fesenko
    Griff was 3rd on the team in rushing last year with 17 carries for 118 yds in 4 games and spent no time under center. If he wasn't a RB what would you call him? He certainly wasn't playing QB.

    And....now that you mention it....Kyle is starting to look like Gary Crowton the way he's jerking poor Griff Robles around like a rag doll. It's interesting that the local Utah media is totally ignoring the glaring fact that this whole fiasco is Kyle's fault. He took all your QB's and turned them into other positions and then thought a shaky 98 lb weakling and a Div2 QB would be good enough for the rigors of your first season in the Pac 12.

    This is a monumental blunder by Kyle because the timing of it is so bad. Getting off to such an embarrassing start is setting the program back decades.

    Blechen, Christopher and Robles all would be experienced, talented, athletic and more than capable backup QB's able to lead the offense without missing a beat if Kyle hadn't moved them all without a plan to replace them. Its the worst coaching decision in Utah football history.

  • nairbnosral American Fork, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    As a lifelong Cougar fan who had to endure a 54-10 beat down, I could not be more pleased with how the Ute's season is turning out.

    However, I am very glad to see the true Utah fans who still support their beloved team even when things aren't going as expected. I'm glad to see comments like "It's great to be a Ute" and "Go Utes".

    The last thing BYU or Utah needs is a bunch of band wagoners who only support their teams when they are winning.

  • cougar4ever2 SLC, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 2:07 p.m.

    I have a legitimate question. Do you think it hurts Utah's chances of recruiting top QB's to their program, when the top QB's they have recruited in the past have all gotten switched to other positions? If I was a QB I don't know if I would be willing to take that chance and might pick somewhere else that isn't looking for "athletes" but is looking for legitimate QB's. This is pretty much the reason Utah is in the mess they are in right now, as far as I can see it. I feel for you, and I feel for Wynn.

  • Kosta Fesenko Chicken McNuggetville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    @Griz

    Griff Robles has never been a running back. He was a redshirt in 2009, then a backup QB in 2010 and he was moved to LB after spring ball in 2011. Now he is being moved back. I wouldn't really call that "willy nilly"

    and dont EVER compare Kyle to Crowton again.

  • BigCougar Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    @Mormon Ute
    "And yet, you were firmly in the Heaps camp too. I guess you missed that one. Regardless of the apparent recruiting mistakes of our coaching staff, I'll take their judgement over yours any day."

    A lot of people missed on the Heaps thing including every high school recruiting service in the country. Since he's only a sophomore, the jury is still out on him.

    But to say you'd prefer to be playing your historic first season in the Pac 12 with a D2 QB and no qualified backups because your Head Coach diverted all of his recruited QB's to other positions (Devonte Christopher to WR, Brian Blechen to LB and Griff Robles to RB and then to LB) sounds a bit disengenuous.

    The truth is, this is a major blunder. Whitt depleted the depth at THE most important position on the team just in time for your most important season in the history of your football program.

    Instead of getting off to a great start and showing the world that you belong there, you're now proving what the naysayers have said all along, "non-AQ teams like Utah could never hack it in a BCS conference."

    Epic

  • Griz Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 1:22 p.m.

    @Naval Vet
    Robles hasn't spent much time at QB for Utah. Kyle moved him to RB his freshman year and then to LB for this year. He hasn't had any time there to learn the position.

    he would have had 2 years to learn that position, if you hadn't been moved around all willy-nilly like.

    Brilliance.

    Kyle's starting to look as wishy-washy as Crowton.

  • Griz Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    @Ufan
    Actually, I think Wash St will give your s. run for your money. They at least have a decent QB.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 12:27 p.m.

    Duckhunter,

    And yet, you were firmly in the Heaps camp too. I guess you missed that one. Regardless of the apparent recruiting mistakes of our coaching staff, I'll take their judgement over yours any day.

    Naval Vet,

    I'm just hoping for a short term solution to get us through next season. I'm suggesting they may have to go beyond normal recruiting routine to get the help we need. I think the decision to red shirt Shreeve is an effort to start building depth for the future with a couple of top notch HS kids coming in. Keep in mind, Chase Hansen has said he is committed to serving an LDS mission right out of HS so he's not going to help us for a couple of years. Wilson is looking good and I would love to see him starting in two years. Both Hansen and Wilson are big enough that I hope injuries won't be an issue like they are with Wynn. It will be a long couple of seasons, if we have to live with what we've got. Unless the coaches can figure out a way to help the kids we have be successful.

  • Naval Vet Philadelphia, PA
    Oct. 25, 2011 10:51 a.m.

    Mormon Ute:

    There appears to be slim pickings amid the JUCO ranks for a decent QB. Rivals only lists ONE top-ranked JC QB: Ryan Mossakowski. He's a Pro-style QB, but he's in Mississippi, and that's not an area we recruit very hard. It looks like we're gonna have to really stick close to Wilson and Hansen. Either one would be a huge asset to our depth at that position. Chow would be a great tutor for Wilson, and Johnson should do well with Hansen.

    GoGetter:

    I don't think Ute fans "despise" Hays. We just don't care for the lack of depth and development at his position at this point in time. Don't forget that Hays wasn't part of the Utah program until this summer, so he didn't get the benefit of Spring training. I doubt any Ute fan expected much from him.

    Now Robles and Shreve are a different story. THEY are the real disappointment thus far. Both had the benefit of the Spring, but even THEN couldn't even beat out a former D-II player who had no business taking snaps at the D-I level, much less in the Pac-12.

    GO UTES!!!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 10:42 a.m.

    @mormon ute

    Of course I've been telling you that exact same thing since utah's spring game. You have complained that I don't know what I'm talking about and am just a hater. Now you agree with me but then of course I was correct all along.

    LOL!

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 10:29 a.m.

    Who is in charge of recruiting back up quarterbacks at Utah?

    Asleep on the job?

    Too bad Chase Hansen is still at Lone Peak High School. He's their best qb right now...Wynn included.

    It's great to be a UTE!

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    I hope the coaching staff is looking really hard at JC players to fill in for depth next season. We've got some serious problems with depth in our offense that need to be addressed and HS recruits aren't going to help with that for a few years. This highlights a weakness in recruiting that needs to be addressed with the coaches.

  • Kosta Fesenko Chicken McNuggetville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    @CougarKeith,

    thanks..........?

  • CougarKeith Roy, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    Personally I think the Utes will be LUCKY to find themselves going BOWLING this year! If they hit 6-6 they might get the opportunity! They have all Pac-12 games left, and a couple are supposed to be Powderpuff teams. I don't know that they can beat any of them actually? I think the Utes have more than they can chew in the Pac-12 which really isn't that great of a Conference in my eyes? Who is left? Oregon State, UCLA, Colorado are all about the weakest teams left I believe? They should be UCLA? I mean afterall, BYU has beaten them 2 of the last 3 meetings, and they Killed them right? Oregon State might be a winable game for them, so that's two! Then Colorado would guarentee them a bowl, maybe they can go to say... The VEGAS BOWL? I see them finishing 5-7, their big game was beating BYU for bragging rights! BYU will at least get the Armed Forces Bowl as consulation, but finishing 10-2 or 9-3 should help them do a bit better. The Texas game hangs on Doman's head still, but it was a learning experience! Go Utes!

  • airliner Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 9:16 a.m.

    Bring back TD Croshaw!!!

  • GoGetter Sandy, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 8:46 a.m.

    Hang in there Hays, just work on your game.

    It will be ugly for a bit, but he is all we have. Ute fans should not complain about him, even though he has practically lost the last few games for us, we have no others. At LEAST he has experience over the 3rd string QB. We need to rally behind him. It probably doesn't help when you know your own fan base despises you. Let's just get through the season with him (hopefully) learning and progressing each game. He has the potential, no doubt. Let's stick it to Oregon St. The remaining schedule should be at a good level for a 2nd stringer to really improve and get some confidence.

    GO UTES!!

  • Kosta Fesenko Chicken McNuggetville, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 8:24 a.m.

    having devonte back will be huge. He is a playmaker. The best one we have on the team. His presence will help Hays tremendously.

  • KamUte South Jordan, UT
    Oct. 25, 2011 7:36 a.m.

    We are in trouble.

  • Ufan Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 24, 2011 11:19 p.m.

    "Sophomore Griff Robles will be the backup, with walk-on freshman Adam Schulz manning the No. 3 spot. Whittingham said the plan to redshirt freshman Tyler Shreve is still on."

    In other words, the Utah QB cupboard is bare. Whittingham has to start Hays because he has absolutely no other options.

    The only reason the Utes still have a chance to play in a bowl this year is because UCLA, Washington State, and Colorado are even worse than the QB-less Utes.